Kentucky Derby spectators can use their binoculars to spot these tiny billboards from MassMutual

Johannes Leonardo built 20 dioramas all over the venue

Published On
May 02, 2019

Editor's Pick

>On May 5, 20 horses will compete at Churchill Downs in the Kentucky Derby. Spectators will don extravagant hats and sip juleps in the sun. And they’ll wait, binoculars in hand, ready to catch a glimpse of the action.

Knowing fans will already be peering through a pair of lenses before the race, MassMutual placed on-site activations for them to see, perfectly sized for 10x magnification. Scattered around the venue—on the roof beams, in the stadium and the infield—20 tiny dioramas feature miniature billboards with messages like, “Take a closer look at your finances to see the big picture.”

“Small Acts,” the campaign by Johannes Leonardo, recreates real-life vignettes, the kind made easy with careful financial planning. Little people, nearly invisible with the naked eye, cook out at a barbecue, walk the dog and play a game of catch beneath the signs. For those who can’t make it to the Derby itself, images of the installations are running on social media.

MassMutual is also the presenting sponsor for the traditional singing of “My Old Kentucky Home,” the anti-slavery ballad sung just before every Triple Crown race. The brand also commissioned a mural by local Louisville artist Jeremy Lewis, a custom design for a hat box by the Derby’s official milliner, Christine A. Moore, and an exhibition of historic hats, which will raise money for charity. 

Mass Mutual Kentucky Derby mural


Mass Mutual Kentucky Derby hatbox

Mass Mutual's hat exhibition at the Kentucky Derby



May 02, 2019
Client :
Agency :
Johannes Leonardo
Head of Brand and Advertising :
Jennifer Halloran
Head of Brand Activation and Engagement :
Kristin Lane
Advertising Director :
Christa Perry
Marketing Consultant :
Kaitlyn Swierzewsky
Chief Creative Officer :
Jan Jacobs
Chief Creative Officer :
Leo Premutico
Group Creative Director :
Samira Ansari
Creative Director :
Kevin Watkins
Creative Director :
Hope Nardini
Copywriter :
Talia Berniker
Art Director :
Emily Haughbro
Copywriter :
Phoebe Talbot
Art Director :
Kimberly Scott
Creative Intern :
Dohee Kim
Creative Intern :
Haeun Kim
Associate Design Director :
Esther Park
Designer :
Christina Hillman
Director of Creative Services :
Michelle Moscone
Project Manager :
John Thomas Shults
Head of Integrated Production :
Dana May
Executive Producer :
Darbi Fretwell
Senior Activation Producer :
Maria Elena Lopez Frank
Producer :
Phil Guignon
Head of Accounts :
Emily Wilcox
Account Director :
Lisa Paravano
Account Supervisor :
Lily Shelmerdine
Account Executive :
Joel Bebasa
Head of Strategy :
Mark Aronson
Associate Strategy Director :
Johnny Roelofs
Head of Communications Strategy :
Meg Piro
Communications Planner :
Casey Donahue
Senior Business Affairs Manager :
Kacey Kelley
Business Affairs Manager :
Pamala Billman
Founder/CEO :
Tristan Brennan
Account Supervisor :
Leigh Anne Penfield
Executive Producer :
Abby Rosenthal
Senior Producer :
Niamh Allen
Associate Producer :
Jennifer Webb
Operations Director :
Danielle Steger
Animation House :
Videographer :
Chris Ozer
Photographer :
Chris Ozer
Editor :

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